|Mother's Day in America in 12 comics from The New Yorker (newyorker.com)|
|The birth of Siddhartha with Mother Maya|
|Birth mother: Queen Maha Maya Devi|The Maya of Mesoamerica are related
|Maya, Mariah (Mary), a queen in heaven|
Our parents do so much for us that, according to the Buddha, the only way we can ever repay them is by teaching or leading them to the ennobling Dharma.
Shravana Kumar carries his aged and poor blind parents on his shoulders (Ramayana) More
|Come on, dad. You, too, mom. Get on up here!|
|Foster mother: Maha Pajapati Gotami|
|Not his mother: Princess Bimba (Yasodhara)|
This was in addition to Siddhartha's wife, Rahulamata ("Rahula's mother"), Princess Bimba Devi, much more popularly known as Yasodhara.
|Rahula, Bimba, Siddhartha|
|Questionable quote (Lotusing/flickr)|
The monastics thought this was very strange. Stranger still, the Buddha approached them and spoke to them in a very kindly way with gratitude. The monastics were confused, Why is the teacher letting these strangers talk to him this way and addressing him as "son"?
The Buddha later explained that for many (500) lives this couple had been his parents. Over and over, the karma of the three being such, they were born together. She raised him over and again. And here she was in that last life running into him apparently out of the blue but not really by accident. The nuns and monks may have been surprised to hear it but, in fact, the Buddha taught something far more surprising:
So long is this samsara -- this "continued wandering on" through births and deaths -- that it is difficult to ever meet anyone with whom one has not already shared all relationships. Look around; those people have already been one's mother, father... How much gratitude do we owe them? While this seems preposterous, it seems so only because we do not know how long an aeon (kalpa) is, how many there have been, or how many times we have already been reborn, how many existences we have already lived, how much we have already suffered. We have little to no idea. For if we knew, we would not be so eager to continue to cycle and revolve in ignorance again and again.
|Kwan Yin as Mother Goddess (D)|
But here in the world, already existing, was the Bodhisattva's long time mother, his mother many times over, and now she had again found him. Our mothers, even when they do not give birth to us this time, are all around (fathers too). Our nurturers are here, and still they nurture us -- sometimes they attack us perhaps due to our lack of gratitude or their lack of understanding -- and stranger still we, too, are former mothers and fathers of others. Such is the incomprehensible working out of karma, an imponderable (acinteyya) thing.
Happy Mother's Day to all the moms -- and we mean ALL of them including you -- from Wisdom Quarterly.